October 21 was a day and a half. It felt like homecoming, to be honest. After three years of waiting (and defending) the Haus of Gaga, our reigning queen finally crossed the moat of screaming Little Monsters and delivered us a new album. With it, she brought a homegrown sound and style that signaled a complete and total return to form. Yup, we're talking about those country vibes no one saw coming.
Before deciding whether you're a fan or not, it's helpful to separate The Lady from The Gaga. It may be hard to believe, but it's been eight years since we first learned what a disco stick was. An egg, a lobster, and 40 pounds of meat with its own Wikipedia page later, her style has run the gamut of an all-you-can-eat buffet to a refined menu. And because of that, she's really the only artist in the game who has literally tried anything once.
When she released Artpop, her second No. 1 album, the world saw even the most loyal of fans turn on her. Like every other piece of work she'd come out with, Artpop introduced a bevy of new looks that, while still outrageous, were a bit more minimalist (for Gaga, at least). She still wrote her own lyrics, directed her own stupendous music videos, and stomped on the piano with her right foot every time she sat down to play. Yet, critics ripped her to shreds, calling it "Artflop"; sales dipped as far as 82%. The whole project might have been too highbrow, sure, but, in our opinion, at least, her style was stronger than ever.